Consumer confidence plummeted by 25 percent in August, likely in reaction to the political antics surrounding the debt-ceiling debate. Second-quarter gross domestic product growth was revised downward to just 1.0 percent, following anemic 0.4 percent growth in the first quarter. 
 The economy is in far worse shape than previously thought. Many economists say that the distinction between a recession and the extremely slow growth recorded so far this year is just a matter of ...

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